Openness: Challenges and Criticalness of an Open Internet Culture
REAL TIME TRANSCRIPT: Openness: Challenges and Criticalness of an Open
14:00-15:30, Tuesday 15 June 2010
DISCLAIMER: Due to the inherent difficulties in capturing a live
speaker’s words, it is possible this realtime transcript may
contain errors and mistranslations. An edited version of the
realtime transcript which amends the inherent errors, will
be posted later. LLOYD MICHAUX and APrIGF accept no
liability for any event or action resulting from the
contents of this transcript.
>> : Welcome back to this session.
This session, the topic is about challenges and
criticalness of an of internet culture.
So now may I invite our moderator, Mr Robert Guerra,
Project Director of internet freedom, Freedom House, to
start the session for us.
>> Robert Guerra: Good afternoon. Thank you for coming to
this session and I know it’s a session after lunch, so
we’ll try to be as interactive as possible.
We’re trying to make sure that we have some of the
different perspectives here.
I’ll briefly introduce myself, we’ll have the
panellists introduce themselves and I’m really looking
forward to a discussion amongst the panellists and also
Q and A and comments from the audience as well.
As mentioned earlier, I’m Robert Guerra, the Project
Director at Freedom House’s Internet Freedom Programme.
I’m hoping this session on openness will be of keen
What we’re trying to do is present different
perspectives, both from Hong Kong, from the corporate
sector, from Thailand and the Philippines.
I’m going to have each panellist briefly introduce
themselves for one minute. Their name, organisation,
very brief summary of what they’re going to talk about
and then we’ll come back and have Ken start off.
>> Oliver Robillo: Good afternoon, I’m Oliver Robillo, but
everyone calls me Blogie, for obvious reasons.
I come from the Philippines, Davos city, in
Mindanao, in the south of the country. I represent
Mindanao bloggers’ community. It’s a community of
bloggers from all over the island of Mindanao. There
are about 300 of us now.
Our main purpose is to bring out our content into
the world, so that everybody gets to understand what
Mindanao really is all about, because in the
Philippines, even among our fellow Filipinos, Mindanao
is a very misunderstood place.
So that’s our primary purpose, to foster
>> Chiranuch Premchaiporn: Good afternoon everybody. I’m
Chiranuch Premchaiporn, I come from Thailand, I work for
the online media news Prachatai, that mean free people.
I would like to talk a bit more about the new law
that just like implement for three years in Thailand,
the computer crime act, that affect the people life in
Thailand and maybe it refers to some issues about the
>> Ken Ngai: Good afternoon everybody. My name is Ken. I’m
the Website Director of the Hong Kong Federation of
I’m also the Project Manager of the campaign.
Of these few years, we have seen a lot of issues in
internet usage, so our group Federation of Youth Groups
actually is very concerned about how people use internet
healthily, properly and avoid against the inappropriate
So is the government. So government last year
funded a project called the Be Net Wise Campaign, so I’m
managing this campaign.
Today I’m going to present to you one of the
research studies findings, conducted in recently.
>> Leslie Chu: I’m Leslie, I’m from Hong Kong. I work for
Microsoft and I run the on-line service group for
Hong Kong and Taiwan.
Today is my pleasure to share together about how we
see some of the views about security on line, freedom on
line and some other issues we can share together.
>> Robert Guerra: Thank you.
Ken will be starting with the results of his study.
>> Ken Ngai: Thank you, everybody.
Before I get started, let me give you some
background about this study first. This study actually
is one of the most — we consider is one of the most
representative studies ever conducted in Hong Kong.
It is because of the sample size, it’s quite big and
the way that we conduct it.
It’s done by the University of Hong Kong. I’m not
the guy who actually do the study and the analysis, but
because I’m the Project Manager, so I present the
findings. If there’s some detail methodology issues,
I probably can answer, but we will soon update this full
report on our website and you can download later.
For this study, we try to understand what
behavioural risk of children, or youth, between parents
Because of this project, we want to find, to have
some evidence base to conduct what we should do and what
educations, what internet education should be doing.
So we look forward to have this kind of
representative research done in Hong Kong.
The method, a representative sample through
screening over 18,000 samples from local address is
identified. Then we try to reach children between 6 to
17 years old.
Parents will be interviewed together. So all
children aged between 10 to 17 will be also interviewed.
If the family contain two children, one between 6 to
9 and another between 10 to 17, the parents will be
Here is some examination result. Total number of
addresses sampled is 18,600 something.
We found valid cases of over 3,600.
Total number of households successfully interviewed
Those with children is 2,098.
So what do we have from this sample?
The first time we can see that this is a total
number of hours that we find children using internet.
We separate into two classes, one are those parents
with internet knowledge and another class is with
parents without internet knowledge.
We see that there is an obvious trend that children
actually surf on the internet with more time during
holidays than normal school day.
Boys use the internet a little bit more than girls.
We also find that the children of parents without
internet knowledge spend more time on the internet.
Here is an interesting finding. Some views about
Parents think that over 27 per cent of the parents
thinks that children use too much internet, spend too
much time there.
We count the top 2 of the last bar, the red and
yellow add up together, over 27 per cent.
That means, actually, parents are not very happy
with children using too much internet, over one-quarter.
Here we also see the activities that youth users do
We see different search for information, doing
homework and so on.
Actually, from the other slide, you will see
a divergence of expectations.
Parents expect children to do things on-line is very
different from children actually are doing on-line.
I think this is very obvious.
Especially when you compare the red line from the
blue bar, especially one of the items, we call it
Children actually expect to use internet for leisure
more than their parents.
The first bar is learning and doing homework. Most
parents actually expect their children to do it.
Places to use computer.
Hong Kong is very small. Most of the households are
Many children actually may not have their own rooms.
However, we still find about 15 per cent, about 15
to 20 per cent of children have their own rooms where
they put their computers.
As we see, we always OK, if the children is too
small, we shouldn’t put the computer in their own rooms,
should be in the common area. But in the situation of
Hong Kong, many families don’t have the luxury to let
their children have their own room. We still have about
15 to 20 per cent of the children having their machines
in their room.
This is obvious inference where the parents can see
their computer screens, because most of them actually
put their computers in common areas, so they can see
what they are doing.
Again, this is a very different in expectations.
Whether the children want their parents to see their
We see a normal trend.
The red line is from children and the blue bar is
Mostly, children just want sometimes to see it, not
I think we don’t need to explain. We can
A number of on-line friends your parents know.
We found that about 60 per cent had on-line friends.
Actually, I guess a bit more, but in our finding, we
find 60 per cent of the children has on-line friends.
Their parents only knew very few or even none of
them, their on-line friends.
Again, this is actually more than half seldom or
never talk about their on-line experience, their on-line
encounters with their parents.
This is obvious. Most of them actually involved in
unsupervised usage of computers. Nobody looking at
them. In Hong Kong situation, many parents work long
hours. They come home very late and don’t have time to
supervise their children to look at and especially when
some children, if they can use their computers in their
rooms at midnight, their parents probably cannot
Here common threat, some known threat happen in the
We check whether parents or children know about it,
so they can probably have some precautions about it.
We found that generally, just when you look at the
middle one, the red line is over the blue one. Children
are usually more concerned with virus infections and
they are more aware of it than their parents.
In most cases, children are less aware of any threat
in the internet than their parents.
Normally, they see most of it actually the blue bar
is higher than the red line.
Here is some conclusion.
Again, in this study, also we carry out with some
parents method to guide or supervise their children.
Here, four major methods that we set out. One is
rule settings, another is involvement, means the parents
get involved when they get surf in the internet.
The third one is restrictions, restricting what they
can do, what they should not.
The last one is monitoring.
We see this is the spread of the children feel that
parents are using.
We spread into age and gender, by different kind of
Here, again, we separate parents into two classes.
One is parents without internet knowledge and the other
is parents with internet knowledge.
We see one trend here is actually in particular the
Parents without internet knowledge, because they
don’t know what they’re doing on-line, so they tend to
use restriction method.
The other class of restriction method is less than
happen in parents case.
Here, how effective are all these different kinds of
methods. The way that we mean effectiveness here is
actually quite subjective. It’s a questionnaire done to
parents, if they feel the way they use is effective in
coaching and guiding their children using the internet.
You see different method and with different
Here is by age.
And by gender.
The last one, we have covered in the study is about
the parenting style.
This is very different from the other study, because
very few cases that we try to correlate parenting style
with use of internet.
Here, we put three different kinds of parenting
style. The authoritative, authoritarian and permissive
We understand, actually, the parenting style is not
discrete style, some sort of usually, but we try to
separate them, so make it easier to compare.
We found that more children found that their parents
had authoritative parenting style, about 72 per cent of
the parents in Hong Kong using authoritative parenting
style and about 35 per cent using authoritarian.
What does this imply?
Summary of this research. We find that a large gap
between parents and children’s internet education and
Most computers were installed in the dining room in
Hong Kong, because of the situation in Hong Kong.
Many children think their parents can see their
screen, but still we found about 20 per cent actually
Only 35 per cent said that they want their parents
to watch them using computers.
About 40 per cent said they don’t have on-line
60 per cent said that they seldom or never talk with
their on-line experiences with their parents.
Very few children report involvement frequently in
high risk behaviour.
About 60 per cent use internet, use computers
without their parents around frequently.
Most frequent method that the parents use is
restrictions in parents without internet knowledge.
Authoritative parents style is the most common style
in Hong Kong.
Good family relations and good peer relations will
help them using internet. Actually there is
a correlation with internet addiction issues.
From this table, we see those underlined with yellow
background are those factors helping children.
Internet, we can see from there, internet knowledge,
time being together with the children, communication,
for example, parenting style, for example, involvement
and so on.
Here are some more.
If we see from the authoritarian parenting style, we
see a negative relationship there. It is not
benefiting, it will hurt the relationship and it’s no
good to use to coach the children to use the internet.
Here I’m not going to define what internet addiction
is about, but the result that we find here is about
10 per cent of the sample that we saw with the risk of
having internet addiction.
If we project with the total number of people in
Hong Kong, we estimate about 77,000 Hong Kong children
probably have a risk of internet addiction.
I have finished. Thank you.
>> Robert Guerra: Thank you very much, Ken.
I think it’s very good to see that there’s a lot of
discussions, both earlier this morning, but as well in
a lot of the previous IGFs, in regards to child
protection and having a study that actually gives us
some of the information about children in Hong Kong and
their parents, as particularly useful.
I’ll now proceed with Chiranuch Premchaiporn who
will make a couple of comments.
You have 10 minutes.
>> Chiranuch Premchaiporn: I thought it was quite
interesting in seeing the research conducted on this and
look into the time spent, time used, compared between
parents and children, it is quite similar. I quite
impressive for to try to look in the perspective of like
the gender, that issue. I would like to see this kind
of research done in Thailand as well, because the
internet seen as kind of like a dangerous world for the
kids, I think, around the world, including Thailand. So
maybe we need the kind of information that is quite
I would like to talk a bit about Prachathai. I
would like to start from — Prachathai is like an
on-line media launch in June 2004 in Thailand.
Prachathai, we serve news and articles in different
views from mainstream media. We also provide open
space, as well as forum discussion. Significantly after
2006, I would like to start by showing first that you
see it. This was a displayed screen in normal situation
when you try to access some website that is what being
The page different from different ISP. This page
show the cooperation between Ministry of Information
Communication and Technologies or called MICT and TOT.
One of the biggest telecommunication companies,
which is state enterprise.
It is difficult to find actually numbers of websites
have been, but it seems gradually increase that give the
adverse consequence by making internet connection in
Thailand is lower down, I think most of you have some
experience about the connection to internet in Thailand.
The next slide is currently appears for website have
been broke according to state of emergency which has
declared since April 7 this year.
This page I capture when I try to access my website,
which is first time officially it has been broke.
We also share different domain name in order to help
our readers, user to access our website with our
Just lack week, Thai authority release the numbers
of website that they already brought by the orders under
state of emergency for two months. There are over 2,200
URLs have been broke.
Volume tear. This is a famous quote that is used to
be misunderstood at the quote of Voltaire. I just found
out from the weekend, it not come from Voltaire, it come
from someone else, but relate to him.
I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to
the death your right to say it.
Anyway, I don’t know. Who said it, but this quote
inspire and empower for importance of the freedom of
I also believe and try to comply with these words.
This is not easy at all to follow these inspired
This is photos of myself on March 31 this year, that
I had to be detained in prison at the criminal court for
almost four hours.
Why? According to the charge against me under the
Computer Crime Act, although only a short period of time
I had to be in condition that I lost my freedom, it make
me realise how terrified if we have to live without
The computer related offence commissions act,
Computer Crime Act, came into force on 18 July 2007.
It was the first bill affecting freedom of
expression passed by the national legislative assembly
installed by the military after the September 2006 coup.
It’s grouped into two categories. Offence committed
against computer systems or computer data. This will be
contained in the section 5-13 and the content offences
committed via a computer, which are already crimes in
the pe natural code.
You can look at it in the section 14-17.
The crucial controversial and negative impact can be
seen obviously in the second category.
I would like to articulate to section that they
consider critical point and there are also two sections
that brought me to be charged as a criminal.
Section 14 provides for imprisonment for up to five
years and a fine of up to about like US$3,000.
Section 14 is the main provision Thai authorities
have used to charge persons writing or posting material
deemed to be defamatory of Royal Family, by.
Section 15 allows the authorities to charge any ISP,
any kind of ISP, doesn’t mean only just internet service
provider, the web content provider, the hosting service
provider, all kinds of service provider, who
intentionally support or consent to the commission of an
offence under section 14.
This gives — I draw this step and this line for
experience about what’s going on to my life in three
Affect from the enforcement of the Computer Crime
I would like to start from late 2008, I summoned to
crime division for three times about the contents paused
by users in my web forum, that they post during
the April to October 2008.
On 6 March 2009, I got arrested at my office and my
personal laptop require with court order to my hard
disk. This happened because of user post content in web
forum and it’s considered unlawful content.
However, luckily like many accused, I got bailed out
on the same day.
A month later, I was required to meet with the
police and was informed additional charge according to
the content post during April to August 2008.
On 2 June 2009, the police public prosecutor and
I was required for bailing again.
Nine months later, if you have pregnant and you have
children, you can have that, nine months.
After I had to present myself to prosecutor office
every one or two months. The public prosecutor file me
a lawsuit on 31 March this year and it’s the day that
I had experience to be in jail.
That’s the photo I show before.
On 31 May, first day of court appearance, for
examine evidence and witness and we also schedule for
court hearing in February next year and I don’t know yet
what is the result. I will get into — I don’t know, up
or down for me, for my life. I don’t know.
Because of the situation in Thailand, it is
difficult to enjoy the freedom of expression and assure
the protection ourselves and our user.
We decide to close down our web forum. It will be
effective on 31 July. This is my public announcement.
I didn’t inform my user yet. I don’t know how to.
I can’t inform them to understand why we have to close
down our web forum discussion that we already run for
From my personal experience, I think it’s also
refers to — reflect to the issues of intermediaries’
liability. That it can be so-called global threat as
well as global trend.
I pick up some quote from an article about the
intermediaries’ liabilities of the Centre for Democracy
The internet and mobile technologies have amplified
the ability of individuals to speak and access
information in unprecedented ways. This effect is
especially true in the web 2.0 era, where user generated
content platforms allow individuals with little
technical knowledge or money to create, reproduce,
disseminate and respond to content in a variety of
formats and with a worldwide audience.
The intermediaries’ liability also may impact to
freedom of expression and economic development.
When intermediaries are liable for the content
created by others, they will strive to reduce their
liability risk. In doing so, they are likely to
overcomp said, blocking even lawful content. In this
way, intermediaries’ liability chills expression on line
and transforms technological intermediaries into content
Intermediaries’ liabilities also creates
disincentives for innovation in information and
Without protection from liability, companies are
less likely to develop new ICT products and services.
I would like to end my presentation with some ideas
as I consider as a positive approach.
We should concern and neutralise our resource and
effort for intermediary protection that weaken or
undermine a key player with the intermediaries’
Follow the web 2.0 era by implement user control
together with the user generated content system.
In US, they are trying to set up the notice and
taken down procedure. It’s interesting, especially when
they are in situations that national security becomes of
However, this solution should be doubt for setting
standard and transparently of the procedure to avoid
misuse of the procedure.
>> Oliver Robillo: Good afternoon again.
I wish my experience were as dramatic as my
colleagues here from Thailand.
But in the Philippines, we have complete freedom of
expression until you get killed, that is.
We actually enjoy the status of being the country
with the most number of journalists killed in action.
It has not spilled over yet to the on-line world and
the number of bloggers killed to date is zero and I hope
it remains that way.
Just to let people who don’t know where the
Philippines is, our neighbours in Southeast Asia.
I come from the south of the Philippines, which is
a place called Mindanao.
Just to give you an overview of the Philippines
situation, we have, as I mentioned, a complete freedom
of expression, complete press freedom. You see a lot of
articles and TV shows lambasting our outgoing president
and with no consequences at all.
But our friends as Freedom House labels the
Philippines as not completely free.
That’s because of not because of government
repression or anything, but because of the convoluted
libel laws of the Philippines and the existence of
frivolous libel cases right now.
As I mentioned, journalist killings.
To date 120, ever since Arroyo came into power.
In terms of the internet, in terms of openness, we
are unregulated. We do have the e-commerce law already
which not only regulates, but more actually promotes
businesses to go on line and with some statutes for
protecting the businesses and the suppliers and the
For example, one good thing that came out of that
was that email documents now are considered legal
documents. They are legally admissible as evidence in
Then in terms of the development of the internet,
it’s largely private sector led.
These are good. These things look good, but what
are the problems?
With an unregulated internet environment, in the
Philippines, even if we don’t have repressive
government, sometimes we find that our ISPs, those who
are in business, are actually repressive.
For example, the internet is market driven in the
Philippines, so that it’s not doing anything for the
Everything is market driven, so if an ISP thinks
that an area is not profitable, then it will not be
Right now, especially in my area, in Mindanao, there
are a lot of underserved and unserved areas.
While in my city, we enjoy cheap and relatively fast
internet access, surrounding my city are areas that have
not heard of the internet yet.
There is a very, very big gap between those who know
and those who don’t know about the internet in the
It’s actually reflective of the socioeconomic
situation of the country as well.
With me is congressman from the Philippines and he
was asking me last night: is it better to be unregulated
or to have regulations that are not perfect?
I don’t know.
We do value our freedom. We are very thankful that
we do not have a perfect — we do not have a perfect
government, but we are thankful it’s not repressive. No
matter how much we complain about our leaders, we do
recognise the fact that we are lucky compared to our
neighbours in Southeast Asia, in terms of governments.
In terms of the private sector led — sorry
I mentioned that already.
Let’s go onto the next.
Since we do value our freedom and because we do have
freedom, what are we doing about it?
We feel, Filipinos who are on-line feel that those
of us who are activists in the internet feel that we do
have a responsibility.
We have this gift of freedom. What are we doing
These are just some of those activities, but since
we have very limited time, I will just highlight some.
The two major activities that we’re engaged in are
educational and based on advocacies.
This is happening all over the Philippines in metro
Manila, the capital, and in the middle of the
Philippines and in Mindanao.
In terms of educational activities, there are so
many projects right now, for example, techtano, tano, it
stands for like guardian or a village watcher, so tech
to know is a group that makes sure that children are
educated properly when it comes to the internet.
I wish we had a study like what Mr Ken has done for
Because we would really like to know what the effect
of our educational programmes are doing for Filipinos
WordCamp Philippines, we brought it to the
Philippines in 2008. This is to educate more Filipinos
in the use of blogging platforms, of content management
There are many.
To backtrack a bit, maybe I was a bit unfair to our
big businesses in the Philippines, but actually there is
a very big telco Philippines that does corporate social
responsibility programme, such as provide internet
conducttivity or training to the underdeveloped areas.
That’s what we are doing now with them. At least
now they are starting to partner up with us and help us
extend our reach by providing financing.
Most importantly, I think, what we have been up to
in the Philippines is citizen journalism towards
For example, we just had our national elections
last May 10. It was the first time that we automated
the national elections and of course it was the first
time it involves a myriad, a host of people, so
expectedly there were a lot of glitches, a lot of
weaknesses in the system.
But because of the citizens, because of the
bloggers, the Twitterers, the Plerkers, the Facebookers,
everybody kept watch, so, for example, there was
Blogwatch.ph. That was a concerted effort. Although it
behaves more like a magazine, a traditional publication,
but it employed bloggers all across the Philippines, to
provide reports about election monitoring.
Then BMPM, that means watch your vote, in other
That is a programme by traditional media employing
citizens on the ground, using Twitter primarily and
Facebook and SMS.
Some of you might know the Philippines was or maybe
still is the text ing capital of the world with more
than 10 million text messages a day.
The Great Book Blockage. That’s just our name for
The Philippine government unfortunately tried to
impose taxes on book imports.
Any book that you order on line or off line, when it
comes to the Philippines, it gets charged with tariffs.
So a lot of us complained about that, because there
is actually a Geneva convention that says that books
should be not taxed and I’m sorry, this was not actually
the Philippine government as a whole, but just one
agency which is the bureau of customs, one of the —
Because of the activities of Filipinos on-line,
through Twitter primarily, I believe, the government,
the president withdrew the directive by the Bureau of
Customs to impose tariffs on imported books.
I believe that we should take credit for that, the
Then, of course, there was a precinct mapping which
Google provided for us. It was the citizens who went to
the precincts and with the mobile phones, most of which
are already GPS capable, they just submitted coordinates
of their precincts, so that it will be easier for the
citizens to locate their precincts.
The beautiful thing about the Philippines now is
because of the openness, there is no clear demarcation
now between media, traditional media, and the new media.
For us, it’s a blur now, because media, you see a lot of
journalists now who are on Twitter or Facebook and they
actually have their own blogs as well.
The same thing with us who come froms, who started
with on line with the new media, some of us have found
ourselves being published in formal publications.
I think it’s good that way, because there’s no
chance for government or any entity that is malicious to
try and control any of the communication organs in the
I think that’s what’s good about the Philippines
right now, in terms of the internet.
If I may, I would just like to segue a bit and
introduce you to my organisation.
The Mindanao Bloggers’ Community.
That is actually electronic representation of the
map of Mindanao, the colours are the different regions.
So it’s a huge island, but largely misunderstood,
even by our fellow Filipinos.
As I mentioned earlier, the main purpose of the
community is to bring out our content, our blogs,
primarily the blog content, out into the internet, so
that when you search for Mindanao, people will see our
blogs instead of the news.
For many years, TV and radio and print, they would
only report about Mindanao when it’s about conflict or
about war or about poverty. None of them have business
beats or lifestyle beat or whatever for Mindanao. If it
is good news, then they don’t report anything about us.
That’s why we founded this organisation and tried to
talk to media.
Come on, there’s more happening in Mindanao than
War or conflict is not even happening in the whole
island, it’s in very small pockets, areas in Mindanao.
This started in 2007 and I would like to think that
we have been starting to become successful in our
synergies with traditional media.
The activities that we’re involved in currently are
training seminars, particularly towards the youth, about
blogging, particularly, of course, technical sessions,
but always including a session on best practices.
What we think are responsible blogging principles.
Of course, we continue our synergy with media, with
media outlets, work with media organisations in the
Philippines, such as the Philippine Centre for
Investigative Journalism and Mindanews and with
Right now, the newly created authority, the Mindanao
Development Authority, whose representative is here as
well, civil society, especially the Mindanao Bloggers’
Community, to try and provide content, to join a round
table discussion to formulate the Mindanao peace and
development framework plan for 20:20. So we are very
excited to be part of that as well.
We are always looking forward to more international
participation and cooperation.
>> Leslie Chu: The speakers give all great presentations, so
I don’t think I have anything better.
I will just share with you guys some of the
Microsoft views on such issues.
First, I think it is our great interest to be here.
It’s not only because we are the sponsor of this forum,
but actually Microsoft runs a few very worldwide popular
internet applications, like I think most people using
messenger, hotline, like MSN home page.
First thing I want to say is we, Microsoft, as
a software company and sometimes people call us a new
media company as well, we are not the policy maker. We
really not that evil empire trying to dominate
But we do see as if it’s a company that runs
applications to meet like hundreds of millions of people
every day, worldwide. We understand it’s our
responsibilities to do a few things.
I think, first, from technology point of view,
Microsoft wants to be, to make sure that from
infrastructure or from the development point of view,
all the on loop applications, software, content we are
using will be security enabled, so we will try to
protect from the technology point of view, when you need
that protection, it will be there.
Second thing I think Microsoft would want to do is
working with the forum like today, working with all the
concerned parties and that’s the government or the
communities, to see how we can define what is the right
or wrong, what is the security, what is the privacy,
what should be defined as the openness for the internet
in the coming days.
Because I don’t think we can do that, none of any
individual or single organisation can do that. We need
to do this collectively together.
The last thing I think what we see is like you need
to see the balance between the privacy and the security.
What our approach will be, we want to give all the
options ready so the users can pick from whatever they
think will be appropriate for them.
I think currently we are talking about internet
security, openness. It is kind of the growing pain,
because there’s so many things undefined, even we are
talking about the governments don’t have the clear
policies, laws on that.
I would take an example.
Have you guys ever heard the terms in children
called (Chinese spoken). This means manpower search.
It’s very interesting behaviour, so say if a user post
a very unpopular speech or graphic on the internet,
people on the same forum don’t really like him a lot,
what in China they do, they actually lots of people go
Google or actually I prefer binge their content, so they
post their off line content, like the telephone number
and their home address, everything that these people on
the internet, so actually off line people will call
these people, you know, harrass.
Think about that.
For such activities, it’s still a big debate,
whether this is legal, illegal, whether this is privacy
or security. There’s a bunch of things, I think, it
takes time and it takes everything of us working
together two set what’s for the best for the future.
So I think this is the Microsoft view, that we want
first technology point of view to be ready, so when you
need that, it will be there.
Second is to work with everyone to set what is the
right thing for the future.
>> Robert Guerra: I would like to thank all the panellists,
before we get the questions, just a quick kind of
summary on the wealth of the different types of topics.
We had a presentation at the I beginning on child
protection, particularly a survey that was done of
children and their parents.
The issue of intermediary liability and a specific
case example of our colleague from Thailand.
What things can be done when there’s openness in
a particular country such as the case of the
Also, kind of Microsoft’s perspectives on some of
the key issues.
It’s a lot of different topics. I’m keen to get
some questions from the floor. I’ll take them in groups
I’ll ask each person to first identify themselves,
where they’re from and they’re with a particular
organisation, government or company.
>> : I’m from Cambodia, for the Cambodian Centre for Human
I have a question to Chiranuch Premchaiporn.
Particularly you are from Thailand and it’s pretty close
to us and a lot of things that happen in Thailand will
happen, if it’s not happening in Cambodia now, it will
happen in the future, because we tend to look westward,
but at this moment, also look east ward and the picture
in the east of Cambodia is not always that rosy as well.
My question is you talk about the threats against
you and all of the website blog block.
Is there a concerted effort by the bloggers
community or the on-line communities in Thailand to
fight this massive amount of websites that got blocked
in Thailand? I know of even some Cambodian website that
got blocked in Thailand as well, because of the mention
of some of the potential royalty issues.
Second, I want to also ask you, because you
mentioned about all these things and you will face court
My question is what is the future hold for you, now
that they block Prachathai, your website. What are you
doing now and what does the future hold for you? How do
you feel about your case?
The other question is do you have hope that justice
will prevail and do you believe in institutions in
Thailand to fight for freedom of expression?
>> Robert Guerra: Thank you very much. Next question?
>> : My name is Judy sun dough, I’m a blogger from the
My first question will be for comment.
In terms of the openness, I think the latest battle
is in the legislation, as in all things.
If you could expand briefly on the latest battle
with the Freedom of Information Act in the Philippines
that wasn’t passed.
Second question would be for the study made on the
internet use, would there be any data if which part of
the internet or which medium did you prefer? Is it more
social media or more on games?
>> Robert Guerra: One more question this.
>> : I have a question and a comment.
One is that the killings of the journalists in the
Philippines, as I understand it, because it is more
typically radio journalists. The thing that it was most
afraid of is an ordinary citizen standing at the door at
7 am with a gun.
So the issue of the killing journalists is not
a normal situation, normal sense of what you expect or
government coming down heavy handed on you.
Bloggers, because of the nature of it is blogging,
maybe you are more reflective, as compared to real
journalists who shoot off at the most, with all due
respect to them.
I think part of it is the lack of training, I think
training would help.
Also, on your comment, Blogie on your point about
freedom of expression and regulation, I think and I’m
not just saying this because I’m from Singapore, but
I think for freedom of expression to work, you need
regulation. The regulation cuts both ways. I say just
because I’m from Singapore. Regulation cuts both ways
because it protect the journalist. End no sha where
they abolished all the laws regarding regulation of
information, the offices burnt down because they were
not protected. I so think you need to look at freedom
of expression with a view to some kind of regulation as
well to protect bloggers and other writers.
>> Robert Guerra: Thank you very much.
>> Chiranuch Premchaiporn: Thanks for your question. The
questions from my Cambodian friend.
I think about the maybe I start from the last
Any hope for my case for defence? I think still
lots of hope, as like the Computer Crime Act is like
a new law that just implement in Thailand and I think we
have, if we prepare well enough, maybe and if the judge
understand enough about the cultures and systems that’s
going on in the Internet Society, I think that will be
help for the judge to understand why the judge have to
protect the intermedias or protect the service provider
or not the service provider to be charged as a criminal.
I still hope and I still think judicial system in
Thailand still have lots of hope on that issue.
For the support among the civil societies, among the
groups in Thailand, right now, I got support from trends
in the media organisation, and media defence initiative.
I’m not sure, but we call like MLDI or something like
that. Legal aid and legal help in this and Thai
activists, at least two groups that will help on this
issue. One is the Thai netizen network that we just
form for about like three years as a kind of group who
represent for the internet user in Thailand, to, the
protections and provide internet literacies among the
people, that is a kind of group that will do lots of
support on and we have freedom against censorship
Thailand. That’s a group that’s set up I think for five
years to promote and advocate on stop the censorship and
tie censorship in Thailand.
So I think this is the kind of for.
And for the current condition that our website being
broke, this is official, first time that official broke
since we run our website for six years and the blocking
site is not the same issue with my charge, it’s
a blocking site is under the state of emergency that
still going on, maybe some of you might not know that
are still going on, even the protest stop, but the state
of emergency is still going on and the blocking site
still going on as well.
I think after they leave the emergency decree,
I hope it should be soon, but from the government, maybe
there is like a month or two months to be continued
state of emergency.
They have to leave all the site that they block
according to this state of emergency.
Anyway, we try, right now we try lots of things,
like when they block, sometimes they block IP address,
sometimes they block the domain name, so we try
everywhere, every way to like avoid that block.
Sometimes we have to require for new IP to change our
DNS. Sometimes we have to change our domain name.
Right now, the current domain name for Prachathai is
Prachathai3.info. Why I choose info .N4. It is the
cheapest one that I can afford right now. That’s one.
I also file a case to the government as well. In
the case that I consider are unjustified to blocking our
site, so we file a case to the programme and to the
deputy prime minister for that, like unjustified block
us. We lost at the first round, at the lower court and
we still appeal and right now, the conditions of our
case in the appeal court.
So I think try everywhere. I don’t know. We
provide information for the people to understand how to
access our site.
>> Robert Guerra: I just have a question to Leslie in
regards to the issue of intermediary liability. It’s an
issue that’s come up in regards to the global network
initiative that Microsoft is a part of, so just
wondering what your thoughts are of intermediary
liability in the Asian context and how you see it.
>> Leslie Chu: This is a very good been. I think you can
see from a few point of view. From Microsoft point of
view, you can see that we are providing the service to,
you know, because internet, what I’m talking about here
is in five years time, maybe even shorter time, every
device will be internet enabled. So what we are trying
to do is trying to provide a service to facilitating
people how to, you know, take most at benefit from the
new technology and soon become very old technology.
It is pretty much like, say, you using a telephone
and I’m just wondering whether, you know, telephone will
be safer compared to using internet. It’s very hard
question to answer.
So I would say that our approach will be to do
whatever we can, as I mentioned from technology point of
view, to protect the users, from harm and the other side
I think the education is very important, because you
need to let people know that the risk using different
kind of on-line application and services, then you need
to know how you are trying to avoid from such harm.
>> Robert Guerra: Thank you. I have a question, the last
comments that were made, I’m just wondering if you have
any comments in regards to I guess the journalist
training and also the issue of regulation and when
actually having it is actually a good thing.
>> Oliver Robillo: Thanks very much for that, our friend
The journalist killings, yes, most of them were
radio broadcaster, announcer. Very politicised ones, if
I may add.
But I don’t think it was — some of them did lack
training, I suppose, in their fields of work, but
I think that wasn’t — I think the reason that they were
killed was not because of what they were — not because
of how they were, you know, they are very fiery or very
passionate when they were lambasting a politician or
a businessman, but I don’t think it was that. It was
the fact that those who ordered the killings wanted them
silenced, so no matter whether they were uncouth about
it or very diplomatic about it, they would still have
been silenced, I believe.
It’s very unfortunate to note that it’s actually
very easy to have somebody killed in the Philippines,
because of the gun trade and the poverty in many parts
of the Philippines.
Because of lack of education, there’s so many
compounding factors to this problem that I hope the
internet will help to solve by making information more
available across the islands.
I believe, personally, that existing laws in the
Philippines are sufficient, even as applied to use of
Because there are existing laws and probably even
ordinances in local townships, local cities that protect
businesses, that protect individuals or organisations
from defamation, from libel, from similar perceived
But that is a problem. As I mentioned during my
presentation, that there are now frivolous libel cases
Right now, a lot of us believe that these cases have
been filed to bully, in order to silence these bloggers.
A case in point, very quickly, is this anonymous
blogger. She blogged about when a typhoon hit Manila,
one of the worst typhoons we have ever had. This
blogger saw government office, the Department of Social
Welfare, no less, with full of a warehouse full of
relief goods that had not been released to the victims,
to the areas affected by the typhoon.
She blogged about it.
I do believe she mentioned or she expressed her
disappointment at the very least.
She was sued for libel by the department head.
Whether or not she was guilty of libel, I mean,
because of cases like this, it costs a lot of money to
defend yourself in the Philippines.
So even if we don’t have the political atmosphere
that represses us, there are these cases that make us
afraid of saying anything.
So a lot of the bloggers now and a lot of the
journalists censor themselves to avoid litigation, to
avoid having to pay for when they are sued.
>> Robert Guerra: Let’s take maybe two more questions.
>> Parminder Singh: From Bangalore.
This is probably a remark about framing of the issue
of openness vis-a-vis internet.
I understand the panel can do only that much, and it
talked very well about openness vis-a-vis controls by
the government and freedom of expression issue.
But there are other aspects which I think should be
mentioned when we are framing an issue of openness and
one is the vertical integration of the network
applications and services, the network neutrality of the
open internet issue, which is increasingly manifest in
Asia and even in underdeveloped areas nowadays, that the
services which are provided are particularly integrated
with the network and how it interface with the openness
of the internet.
Second issue is about open standards. And the
tremendous fight which organisations are doing at
national levels to get open standard policies and the
kind of powerful actors they are up against and those
are big issues because if we don’t right now put the
right kind of open architectures out, it will soon be
too late and I think this kind of issues also should be
mentioned when we are talking about the openness of the
>> Robert Guerra: Very good point.
>> Narish Adjwani: Narish Adjwani which, I’m a president of
Cyber Cafe Association of India. We are responsible for
the ecosystem of ensuring the affordability of access to
the mass usage in developing and emerging countries.
This question is to you. Can you elaborate the
definition of intermediary in Thailand, because that has
got a much wider meaning than an ISP.
As for me, my understanding, if, as an organisation
we facilitate internet or mobile connectivity, we become
So in case the worry is not — if the worrying is
coming as an intermediary for ISPs, then definitely the
worrying is coming for many organisations who facilitate
the internet connection to the user, or a mobile
connectivity to the employee.
am I correct in my understanding or no, it is only
limited to ISPs in Thailand?
>> Robert Guerra: So what’s the definition of the ISP.
>> Narish Adjwani: The definition of intermediary is what
I want to understand, because intermediary in a legal
word stands for anybody whosoever is responsible for
facilitating internet or a mobile connectivity.
>> Chiranuch Premchaiporn: Yes, that’s right. Not just only
the ISP, the internet service provider, but all process
of like the connections and communication, that’s also
It’s not just only in Thailand. If, like you want
to do the business in Thailand, you maybe have to comply
with the law in Thailand.
So it’s not just only Thai company, so all
companies, the international company.
I think like maybe my colleagues from Thailand, he
can add more, some comments on this.
>> : (Thai colleague) I mean, that’s very true, that when
you are talking about intermediary, in Thailand or
according to the law, it’s like end to end. Everything
in the middle, it’s all affected.
Not only affected journalism only, there’s a lot of
community WiFi projects in Thailand that are about to
start or restart for couple of months, but once this law
goes into implementation, all of that community WiFi
projects that’s meant to provide communication and
access to people in rural area, just has to be
terminated, because according to the law, they are
required to keep track, that means a lot of cost, that
they have to be like support and they cannot afford
So those community WiFi projects just basically have
to be terminated now, according to this law, because
they cannot afford it. So there are many consequences,
not only on the journalist side, also on many thing as
well going on.
>> Narish Adjwani: That is good news, because when the size
and the scope of the problem becomes bigger, it is very
near to the solution.
I am very confident that corporates would be
responsible for addressing this issue as fast as
possible, as early as possible, because they are
intermediaries in giving access of internet to their
>> Robert Guerra: Great to hear.
I have one last question here.
>> : Actually, it’s just a comment about the Philippine
situation. Just to clarify for the record.
First, as Blogie said, most of the journalists who
were killed were in Mindanao and other provinces and
plus what actually exacerbated the news was there was
a massacre of journalists, a mass massacre of
journalists who were put in a ditch.
As regards the libel law and regulation, there have
actually been movements, to amend the law, for example,
there have been — there has been a piece of legislation
to suggest the right to reply, which has been approved
and also likewise, with regards to the libel law, just
to point out how difficult it is in the Philippines.
For example, if you won two or three cases, the libel
was pushed against them, the plaintiff, the defendant,
was based in Manila, the incident happened in Manila.
Then the one who filed the libel law, filed it if
That would take an airplane for the person to go to
that court and to appear there every time.
So it’s not an easy way.
It has been used even before the internet.
These are the complications with the libel law.
In terms of efficacy, in terms of on-line, even the
most influential journalist, let’s say, based in Manila,
none have been shot.
There have been cases as well, for example, in
several campaigns on line which have been successful and
has had an effect.
For example, there was this aside from the book
blockade, there was also the affair with the president
and even in politics, it has been very effective.
>> Robert Guerra: Thank you for the additional details.
>> Stephen Lau: Stephen Lau, I have a question for Ken,
a short one.
The survey in Hong Kong is a very comprehensive one.
I think we got very good quantitative figures and also
some very good quantitative analysis.
But we don’t really have much of a conclusion, maybe
because of time, even when you talk about internet
addiction, 140 per cent of the kids, (10 per cent of the
kids, you seem very neutral. I’m not sure if it is good
or bad, is the tolerable.
My question is is there any conclusion, if you can
share with us, what are the bad things as you can see
from this survey or let’s say, not welcome anyway, not
necessarily bad, and what we intend to do about it.
>> Robert Guerra: Great question. Thank you.
>> Ken Ngai: Thank you, Stephen.
Good question. Actually, when we look at the
internet addiction cases or the percentage, we try to
compare with other countries. But sometimes it’s just
not appropriate to compare directly.
Because the information is not totally comparable in
According to Dr Wong, who actually did the analysis
of these studies, he tried to compare this with Seoul,
Korea and Taiwan.
Hong Kong case, it not particularly bad. It’s about
So we think that this is a global across the region,
almost the same thing, youth probably have the same
level of risk of getting internet addicted.
What I would just like to mention about the survey
done, the thing that actually we do is try to have some
sort of evidence to formulate what we can do in future.
If we are concerned about youth development, we need
to know what they do.
I think from the floor another question is asked
a while ago, what do we prefer them to use in the
internet? Actually, it’s not what we prefer them to do
in the internet, it’s actually want to know what they
I have a few slides that I did not cover.
It’s about division between boys and girl, boys
usually play games on line more than girls and girls
usually socially network with other people, things like
They have different ways to use it.
So if we know about it, we try to formulate what we
can do to coach them.
In our point of view, we try to make it more
transparent and make youth more informed.
So they know what risk they probably were exposed to
and what consequences they probably were exposed to.
This is how we expect our internet education is
>> Robert Guerra: Thank you very much.
Again, I would like to thank the panellists for
their presentations and their comments and for everyone
for listening and asking questions.
Thank you very much. We’ll now, I guess, break and
have coffee. Thank you very much
>> : Thank you Mr Guerra and the panellists for that
Now it is the tea and coffee break, so tea and
coffee will be served on your right-hand side, outside
We will be back at 4 o’clock.